Definition of unwitting in English:


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  • 1(of a person) not aware of the full facts.

    ‘an unwitting accomplice’
    • ‘I was no longer the poor unwitting victim of some innocent's stupidity; I had been selectively harvested and used as a disguise for an underhand trader.’
    • ‘Every nation has its supply of people ready to exploit unwitting members of the public.’
    • ‘On the one hand there are those who argue, quite plausibly, that legal and apparently innocent products can introduce nandrolone into the bodies of unwitting athletes.’
    • ‘By accepting everyone's (well, almost everyone's) invitations, he makes other people the unwitting authors of his destiny.’
    • ‘For maximum visual effect, she chose as her protest spot a seat down in the delegation rows on the floor, taking a chair offered to her by an unwitting man.’
    • ‘He, they believe, was carefully positioned by network executives as an unwitting victim of sloppy reporting by a subordinate.’
    • ‘A woman who suffered a 48-hour kidnap ordeal may have been the unwitting victim of an underworld drug debt row sparked by a string of recent seizures.’
    • ‘The attempted robbery took place at around 11.10 pm on Sunday in Pilgrims Lane, South Ockendon, turning an unwitting driver into a vigilante.’
    • ‘We also know there are unreal news stories; that is to say we know that an unnamed source planted a made-up story with an unwitting reporter.’
    • ‘Edward II's lover, Piers Gaveston, is said to haunt the ramparts of Scarborough Castle, luring unwitting victims to their death over the walls.’
    • ‘The Wandsworth resident was outraged when he found parking tickets were being slapped on unwitting motorists who were actually obeying the restrictions in his street.’
    • ‘Gardaí are investigating these unusual crimes, which target unwitting visitors to graveyards who leave their valuables in the cars.’
    • ‘He told unwitting staff at the Chesterfield company that the blood was from a dog he had knocked down, before asking them to store the professionally sealed oil drum at their site.’
    • ‘He was given a shot at sexist type reversion when commenting on the recently published parallel parking formula - written by an unwitting female.’
    • ‘It's up to you to decide whether he is the unwitting victim of conspiracies.’
    • ‘Now coming up with tenuous rationales for persuading unwitting students to choose your major is hardly unique to any field of study.’
    • ‘The fate of as-yet unborn individuals did not fall from above into the hands of poor, unwitting scientists who want nothing other than the best for all mankind.’
    • ‘I like this shot because of the shift in interpretation that occurs between the window decal and the shadow it casts on this unwitting patron.’
    • ‘In the end, the tale of an elfin waitress who spreads happiness among her unwitting friends and neighbours grossed £90m.’
    • ‘All they'd have to do is plant explosives in the baggage of unwitting travellers, then let the dogs sniff the explosives out.’
    unknowing, unconscious, unsuspecting, oblivious, unaware, innocent
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    1. 1.1Not done on purpose; unintentional.
      ‘we are anxious to rectify the unwitting mistakes made in the past’
      • ‘These were all blameless cases of unintentional and unwitting mental telegraphy, I judge.’
      • ‘But what could other less reputable concerns do with such data captured inadvertently from unwitting Web sites?’
      • ‘However, even if the IRB decide that his deception was unwitting, there appears to be no chance whatsoever that he will play for Scotland again.’
      • ‘But Scotland themselves provided unwitting encouragement when he missed the chance which would have buried them.’
      • ‘It is also a fact that for some time past, there had been an unwitting personality clash in the making between them.’
      unintentional, unintended, inadvertent, involuntary, unmeant, unthinking, unplanned, unpremeditated, unconscious, accidental, chance
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/ˌənˈwidiNG/ /ˌənˈwɪdɪŋ/


Old English unwitende ‘not knowing or realizing’ (see un-, wit).